We travelled by scenic rail to a village in the rainforest called Kuranda. The railway construction started in 1886 and took 5 years to build. It has 15 tunnels all of which were dug out using dynamite, picks and shovels, mainly by Irish and Italian immigrants.
The journey took over an hour and included a stop at the Barron Gorge and waterfalls (above). These are more spectacular during the rainy season which is now (February), but it has been a particularly dry ‘rainy’ season this year which is affecting the rivers and waterfalls. The locals explained they had been experiencing a heatwave instead and it was much hotter than usual.
We spent a few hours in Kuranda and visited a butterfly sanctuary (above).
We also went to the koala park in Kuranda (above). Koalas sleep for up to 22 hours a day and have a diet of Eucalyptus leaves. Their lifespan is 10-12 years in the wild and 16-18 years in captivity.
Our journey back from Kuranda was by cable car which gave us spectacular views of the rainforest. The route is split into 3 sections which allows you to get off the cable car at the two middle stations and walk through two separate areas of the rainforest.
The walks were boarded so it wasn’t exactly “off the beaten track” but it was a good experience to walk through native rainforest trees.
We were lucky to see a wild Cassowary (above). Signs advise you to be careful if you see one as they can be aggressive. It was a large bird about the size of a small emu.
While Kuranda is touristy we both enjoyed our day and had a real flavour of a few things Australian. Even though they were in a wildlife park it was great to see koala’s in their native country.